The Chinese government has outlined plans to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It details new recommendations that will be delivered to the 1.2 billion people living in China.
The recommendations state that the public should look to decrease their meat consumption by at least 50%.
Having around 1/7 of the world’s total population, the move is considered another last ditch effort to stop runaway climate change.
The new dietary recommendations have been drawn up by the Chinese Health Authority and state consumption should be no more than 40-75g of meat per person, per day.
Should the new guidelines be followed, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from China’s livestock industry would be reduced by 1bn tonnes by 2030, from a projected 1.8bn tonnes in that year.
While the move is a welcome addition in the battle against climate change, the effects could be greatly increased with the government instead instructing the public to eat no meat.
As the animal agriculture industry is the largest cause of methane emissions, the most powerful greenhouse gas, the only real way we’re going to stop climate change is by adopting a world that consumes little or no animal products.
“Through this kind of lifestyle change, it is expected that the livestock industry will transform and carbon emissions will be reduced,” said Li Junfeng, director general of China’s National Center on Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.
“Tackling climate change involves scientific judgement, political decisions, entrepreneurial support, but at last, it still relies on involvement of the general public to change the consumption behavior in China. Every single one of us has to believe in the low-carbon concept and slowly adapt to it.”
“China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris agreement,” said James Cameron.
“Animal agriculture emits more than all transportation combined. Reducing demand for animal-based foods is essential if we are to limit global warming to 2C as agreed at COP21.”
James Cameron is a long time vegan, animal rights activist and environmentalist. He also recently opened a vegan preschool in the United States.